As I focus on my one word for 2020 pursue and pursuing God more intentionally this year I’m revisiting different Bible study and prayer disciplines I’ve incorporated through the years beginning with adoration.
Growing up in the church you will likely learn a lot of catchy phrases that come to form a language of their own, but don’t make a lot of sense to people outside of the church. Additionally, because the lingo seems familiar to everyone around you, many times it can feel intimidating to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something as clearly as you perceive others around you may grasp.
One of those phrases is the ACTS prayer:
Adoration: Praise God for who he is/For his character
Confession: Tell God about your personal sin and corporate sin, ask for forgiveness
Thanksgiving: Thank God for how he is present in our lives, what he has done and what he will do
Supplication: Dialogue with God, ask for clarification and guidance about situations, pray about needs, wants, fears, joys.
The ACTS prayer is a catchy way to make sure that we have an order to our conversations with God, but they aren’t a requirement for prayer. Growing up I found this structure helpful, but I didn’t fully understand the difference between Adoration and Thanksgiving.
Thankfully Sara Hagerty has taken the time to clarify Adoration in detail. She also has a monthly adoration plan you can follow to help put this important prayer discipline into practice.
The Discipline of Adoration
Life is hard and often feels deeply unfair. In recent years documentation of depression is on the rise as well as teen suicide.There is no doubt that people are outrageously more cruel to each other with the ability to hide behind fake identites. Bolstered by the example of poor leadership that is justfied by those who call themselves moral, for many there doesn’t seem to be a safe place to turn for help.
But God is always available to comfort his children. He loves to reveal his character to us when we ask, and he is unchanging so we can always trust him. Adoration reminds us God is our comforter. Consider Psalms 23.
Psalm 23 (NIV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I mentioned Sara Hagerty has a monthly guide. I’ve also found the book Adoration Prayer Book by Bob Hartley very helpful. Hartley says “Adoration is the pattern we see in heaven! The Lord is surrounded by worship and adoration continually throughout all of eternity.”
If you haven’t included adoration in your journaling or prayer times maybe this is the month to give it a try!